The European Commission has today adopted a Council Decision enabling ten Member States who have applied to participate in an EU financial transaction tax (FTT) through enhanced cooperation, to do so. The FTT is designed to be a common system of financial transactions tax, with the objective of improving the functioning of the internal market in this area. It is estimated that the harmonised tax could deliver €57 billion in revenues each year.
The Commission believes that enhanced cooperation on the FTT will bring "immediate, tangible advantages" for those countries that participate, and additionally will contribute to a better functioning Single Market for the Union as a whole. The Commission has concluded, through today's Decision, that all legal conditions have been met and that the Member States that want to move ahead with an EU FTT should be allowed to do so.
The Member States in question are France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. They cited the Commission's proposal for an FTT as the basis upon which they wished to proceed (see IP/11/1085). A minimum of nine Member States were needed for enhanced cooperation to be allowed under the Treaties.
Under enhanced cooperation, any Member State that wishes to join at a later stage may do so, under the same conditions as the Member States that have participated from the beginning.
The next step is that the Council Decision must be adopted by a qualified majority of Member States, and receive the Parliament's consent, in order for the ten Member States to move forward.